DIY Dryer Repair: Don’t Drown in the Details

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Some dryer problems can be managed by do-it-yourself fixes using a few basic tools and some technical knowledge. With a screwdriver, a ratchet set, and a multimeter (or continuity tester) you might be able to handle some small repairs. However, if you don’t know the workings of the machine, it’s best to call the professionals.

Here are three of the most common dryer problems and their possible causes. Always unplug your dryer before you attempt to repair or replace anything in the machine.

Reasons Why the Dryer Vent Needs Professional Cleaning

Dryer Won’t Start

Before you get your hands dirty, check if the dryer is plugged into the wall socket. This is one of the more commonly reported causes of a “broken” dryer. If the machine is powered but does not respond when you try to start it, the start switch may need replacing. However, if it produces a humming noise before it stops, the start switch is in working condition.

Next, check the door switch. In most dryers, the door switch makes a clicking sound when activated. The absence of a “click” indicates that replacement is likely necessary. Remove the top cabinet panel to access the switch.

If there’s nothing wrong with either the start or door switches, the thermal fuse may have blown. Test this piece for continuity. If the reading is negative, don’t replace the fuse immediately. First, ascertain the condition of the thermostat and the vent. If the thermostat is damaged or the vent is clogged, repair the equipment and/or clean the vent before replacing the fuse. Again, if these terms seem foreign to you, it’s time to call a skilled dryer repair technician.

Reasons Why the Dryer Vent Needs Professional Cleaning

Dryer Makes Unusual Noises

Identify the type of noise the dryer is making. Different parts produce certain sounds if they’ve gotten loose or worn and need replacing.

  • A scraping sound (like metal grinding against metal) could be a drum glide problem.
  • Squeaking might indicate drum bearings or idler pulley issues.
  • Both a scraping and a thumping sound (as well as rips and black marks on clothes) can point to a torn drum seal.
  • If the thumping is loud or the machine is making a roaring noise, the blower wheel could be loose.
  • A loud rumbling noise signals a faulty drum roller.

Three Reasons Your Dryer Is Getting Too Hot

Dryer Has Little or No Heat

A dryer that produces little or no heat could be the result of a blown thermal fuse. Continuity readings on the multimeter can reflect a problem. If the reading is positive, check either the radiant sensor (for gas dryers) or the heater element (for electric ones). If they fail the continuity test, replace them.

For gas dryers, if the sensor passes the test, check the igniter. A failed reading means it needs to be replaced. If the igniter checks out, you’re looking at a defective gas valve solenoid coil. Replace this, and you should be good to go.

Dryer issues are usually beyond the average person’s expertise. Don’t get in over your head. Call the local professionals for assistance: For repairs or dryer vent cleaning in Ottawa, contact Dr. Duct at (613) 845-0707.